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Pontoon extension work to start later this summer

Picture of boats moored at the pontoons in King's Lynn.

Published: Friday, 21st August 2020

Work to extend the visitor pontoons in King's Lynn is set to start this Monday as part of the Sail the Wash programme.

Sail the Wash, which received Coastal Communities funding of £679,000 in March 2019, is designed to enhance existing and create more opportunities for leisure craft wanting to visit The Wash area and surrounding waterways. The project is being led by the Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk, in partnership with Fenland District Council and Lincolnshire County Council.

The project includes practical improvements to the mooring and navigational infrastructure throughout The Wash area, and will include pontoon extensions at King's Lynn this year and Sutton Bridge next year, as well as the development of marketing and promotional materials to establish a Sail the Wash brand and market this among the boating fraternity. This will attract additional tourism to the area which will support the local tourist economy and promote local business.

The Wash is a notable attraction for visitors. It is a designated European Marine Site, a Site of Special Scientific Interest and is incorporated into the Greater Wash Special Protection Area. It provides a unique experience for leisure boating in the UK and from further afield.

Cllr Peter Gidney, Cabinet Member for Project Delivery at the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk, said: “This venture will increase the capacity of the moorings and strengthen Kings Lynn’s position as a destination for UK and International maritime visitors. This important development widens the scope of tourism for West Norfolk and the UK. Further funding opportunities to develop this theme are being looked at as well.

"This work represents the first steps towards that goal. Covid has caused some delays to the programme, but we are pressing ahead to get the works completed within the funding timescales. We hope to be promoting the enhanced facility for the next season. We are already working on an updated website with up-to-date navigation and anchorage surveys, which will make it easier and safer for leisure boats to travel between port destinations.”

The work at the visitor pontoons in King's Lynn will increase the number of leisure boats that can be moored in that location. Work is set to take around 8 weeks to complete (subject to weather and tides), and a Marine Mammal Observer will be on site throughout to ensure there is no harm to marine life. The Pontoons will be closed to vessels while the work is completed, but there will be no impact on the nearby road.

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